Karachi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed its intention to push for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games going forward, starting preparations for a bid on behalf of the sport with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles 2028 itinerary.
The world’s cricket governing body has formed a working group that will lead the bid. The ICC Olympic Working Group will be chaired by England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore. He will be joined by ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram and Chair of USA Cricket Parag Marathe.
“Our sport is united behind this bid, and we see the Olympics as a part of cricket’s long-term future. We have more than a billion fans globally and almost 90 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.
“Clearly cricket has a strong and passionate fanbase, particularly in South Asia where 92% of our fans come from, whilst there are also 30 million cricket fans in the USA. The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising.
“We believe cricket would be a great addition to the Olympic Games, but we know it won’t be easy to secure our inclusion as there are so many other great sports out there wanting to do the same. But we feel now is the time to put our best foot forward and show what a great partnership cricket and the Olympics could be.”
England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore will Chair the ICC Olympic Working Group and he will be joined by the ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram and Chair of USA Cricket Paraag Marathe who believes the time is ripe for an Olympic bid:
“USA Cricket is thrilled to be able to support cricket’s bid for inclusion in the Olympics, the timing of which aligns perfectly with our continuing plans to develop the sport in the USA.
With so many passionate cricket fans and players already in the USA, and a huge global audience and following for the sport around the world, we believe that cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help us to achieve our own vision for establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in this country.”–APP